Wales

Potholes: Meltable bags of plastic used in council trial

A pothole on a road Image copyright PA
Image caption Neath Port Talbot Council has so far found the new plastic system fixes holes with less waste

Potholes are being repaired with plastic instead of traditional tarmac as part of a trial by a Welsh council.

Neath Port Talbot is testing out meltable bags, which are placed in a boiler and then put over the hole.

The council said initial results suggested the material may be "faster, cleaner and less expensive" than traditional methods.

It will continue to evaluate the repair system.

The authority said the "thermoplastic repair system" used less material to fix holes.

Image copyright Neath Port Talbot council
Image caption The material is melted and placed over the pothole

In a trial of an area of 215 sq m (257 square yards) three tonnes of material were used.

This compares to 21 tonnes of tarmac used in the traditional method, with a similar amount of waste created in the process.

After being placed in the boiler, the bag of material is placed on the road or footpath with no preparation or digging work needed.

The council said the new material costs more than hot tarmac, but can cover seven times as much space and the road can be used within 30 minutes of it being laid.

A survey earlier this year suggested Flintshire was the quickest Welsh council to respond to calls about potholes, tackling problems immediately.

It has trialled using drones to spot and fix cracks.

While Neath Port Talbot was the fifth quickest Welsh council to respond to calls in the RAC Foundation survey, it believes the new method could improve things further.

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